A thief is killed less than a day after his release form prison. A firebrand socialist is found dead in his room. Acid is thrown on two children in a bakery. So begins the crime thriller On Copper Street, By Chris Nickson. Fifth in the series of well written police investigative stories staring Detective Inspector Tom Harper, this book is perfect for those who enjoy a combination of historical fiction and murder mystery.
Our sleuthing protagonist is presented with a puzzle. One that challenges all of his psychological reasoning, deductive skills, and street smarts. Then while these mysteries are still fresh, more bodies begin to pile up. Harper knows that they are all connected, but “how,” that is the question.
It is 1895 and the reader is propelled into the poor sections of working class London. The reader walks the streets of the downtrodden, and the forgotten. We learn what it was like for the average person simply trying to put food on the table, and find enjoyment during an otherwise grueling and cruel life in Edwardian England. We learn about their work conditions, their politics, and their family life. And in the middle of all of this melee, is Annabelle, Harper’s independent, entrepreneurial, publican, suffragette wife. How these crimes effects Harper’s family, makes everything even more personal to our intrepid copper. Making it even more dire that these crimes need solving.
Through interesting twists and turns, the author takes the reader on a fun and enjoyable mystery ride. Just when you think you even know the why’s and wherefores of the murders and acid assault, you are left going down another path altogether. You are definitely kept guessing to the very end. ..An end you never see coming.
If you like mysteries in the guise of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, and Agatha Christie, then this book is for you. It’s a worthwhile summer read.
This book is available June 1.